Pickleball Facility Coming to Lower Garden District
NEW ORLEANS — On Dec. 5, local attorney Renée S. Melchiode presided over a groundbreaking celebration at the future site of the Exchange Pickleball + Bar at 2120 Rousseau Street in the Lower Garden District.
Melchiode, a special counsel at Melchiode Marks King LLC, purchased the 21,000-square-foot former warehouse space near the Tchoupitoulas Walmart in 2021 to create what she says will be the state’s first facility dedicated to a fast-growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. Melchiode estimates the redevelopment of the 70-year-old space — which will feature six air-conditioned indoor courts, one outdoor court and a patio area — will be complete in July 2023.
VergesRome is handling the design. Jos. R Labadot Inc. is the contractor. Corporate Realty’s Austin Lavin represented Melchiode’s NOLA PB — a majority women-owned business — in site selection and purchase of the properties.
Melchiode says the Exchange will be home to pickleball leagues, clinics and lessons — along with the occasional live music. She said the space will also serve as an event venue for conventions, corporate events and tourists. It will be able to accommodate up to 500 people.
“Hopefully, there will be something for everyone,” said Melchiode. “We think it’s a fantastic addition to the neighborhood and it will promote economic development. We are bringing at least 45 temporary jobs and approximately 10 permanent jobs as well as revenue to the city. Best of all, pickleball is a healthy and social activity that is good for people of all genders and generations.”